Born: 4 January, 1993 Lives: Malibu, USA 4th European minimoto championship Minigp 50 British champion Minigp 80 Spanish champion 7th 125 Spanish championship (Aprilia) 2nd 125 Spanish championship (Aprilia) 11th 125 world championship (Aprilia)) 15th
‘When I went to BSB I wanted a fun rest year. I weighed 84 or 85 kilos, which is extraordinary for a racer, but I said I’m not going to try to lose weight all the time like I used to do because it’s too stressful. And being 84 or 85 kilos didn’t affect my results – I felt good and I felt strong. ‘I started 2019 with a lot of pressure because I broke a femur in training and almost lost my ride before the first race. I got to Silverstone for the first round fully focused, Motogp style. Then I got into the BSB style of enjoying my racing and I thought, fuck, this is good! I had a couple of fun weekends and I started getting even better results, with less stress. That was just the effect of not thinking too much and being relaxed. ‘Sometimes we were up till one in the morning on Saturday nights having parties in my motorhome, then I did the double the next day. I wasn’t drinking, but we had music and we had fun and we laughed. You forget you’re at a race, then you get up the next morning and it’s focus time. One vision: winning. Some other times in the week before a race I felt a bit nervous or stressed, so I’d go out and have a party with the boys. That made me feel less stressed, which helped me during the race weekend.’
Redding has always enjoyed having a laugh, both with his mates and fans. At the track he’s a bit of a showman and even away from the track he sometimes goes out of his way to interact with the paying public. Recently a mate of Bike’s chief designer Paul Lang was driving up the A when he overtook Redding’s van and gave him a wave. Redding waved back and ushered him into a layby, where they had a quick chat, took a couple of selfies and continued on their way.
‘If someone is happy to see you, why not? If I was on a schedule and had to be somewhere it would’ve been, “sorry mate,” but if I’m not in a rush, what difference does five minutes make to me if I’ve made someone’s day? When I look at myself I don’t think I’m anybody, I’m just a normal person, but to other people it’s nice for them.’ Redding was a real hit with BSB fans last year and had planned another season in Britain, until the WSB call came from Ducati. ‘When that offer came I had to take it because this is one of the best bikes and » 2003 » 2004 » 2005 » 2006 » 2007 » 2008 » 2009 » 2010 » 2011 » 2012 » 2013 » 2014 » 2015 » 2016 » 2017 » 2018 » 2019 teams to fight for a world title and I want to win a world title. I couldn’t say no.’
First time out at the season-opening Australian WSB round Redding took three podium finishes from three races to put himself second overall behind Alex Lowes. ‘Phillip Island was the first round of a new series for me, so I didn’t really know what was going on. The plan was to understand the system and the racing, get some good points on the board and then go to the next races and start pushing for wins. To be honest I had a good chance to win two of the races at Phillip Island, but it wasn’t on my mind to take risks. I keep watching the races back and I’m thinking I could’ve won that! But at the time it was more about finishing races and getting data.’ Redding has found it easy switching from Motogp bikes to superbikes and there’s no reason he shouldn’t win the WSB title at his first attempt, just as he won BSB at his first try. After all, he knows the tracks better. ‘I enjoy superbikes a lot. They’re still scary fast, but when you get to the end of the straight at Phillip Island they’re not on-the-edge-of-death fast like a Motogp bike.
‘Riding a superbike you have to ride it with a Moto2 style and a Motogp brain, so it’s like I’m combining two different eras of my career. You’ve got to use corner speed, you’ve got to be smooth and fluid and you’ve got to pick up the bike out of the turns, then you’ve got to think about saving the tyre and doing a few things with the throttle, because when the Pirellis are gone they’re gone.’
All Redding needs now is for the 2020 WSB season to kick off again. Dorna hope for a truncated championship of six or seven rounds, but ultimately WSB and every race series is in the hands of governments and their COVID-19 health protocols.
‘Yeah, but I just want to tear up some rubber!’ he shrugs.
Next month Mat talks to Ducati’s new factory Motogp signing Jack Miller…